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Last Month's Top Sellers

1. JACKIE SHANE - Any Other Way
2. ST. VINCENT - Masseduction
3. WEATHER STATION - Weather Station
4. COURTNEY BARNETT & KURT VILE - Lotta Sea Lice
5. BECK - Colors

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FEATURED RELEASES

Saturday
Nov042017

JACKIE SHANE - Any Other Way

"Recognized by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s. Ms. Shane is a star without parallel—a pioneer of transgender rights born in a male body, living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable.

Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Any Other Waymarks Jackie Shane’s first communication with the public in nearly half a century. Rob Bowman's extensive liner notes tell, for the first time ever, Ms. Shane’s story in her own words, copiously illustrated with never-before-seen pictures from a career and life unlike any other." - Numero

Friday
Oct272017

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD - Sorry Is Gone

"On her latest, Sorry Is Gone, Jessica Lea Mayfield creates a manifesto for living apology-free. Its title track is a mantra for those who are simply over saying the “S” word, which is important, especially for women in a society that expects us to say it too often. Lyrically, it has an empowering effect, with applause-inducing lines like “It’s nice to have a guy around / For lifting heavy things and opening jars / Should we really let them in our beds.” Mayfield’s blunt narrative will resonate with anyone who has had enough of their partner’s perpetual shtick.

Sorry is born from especially difficult subject matter. Written as Mayfield endured what she has alleged were years of domestic abuse, it was composed mostly on an acoustic baritone guitar, her source of peace in an unimaginably dark time. Through writing Sorry, she found the strength to say her last apology and leave her marriage...Her influences range. Tracks like “Safe 2 Connect 2” take a lyrical cue from Patti Smith, while “Soaked Through” oozes with a resemblance to Slowdive’s Souvlaki. On the latter, Mayfield’s garage influences soak through, with blaring guitars and hazy, dream-like vocals that pull us into a deep, rock-fueled trance..." -Paste

Friday
Oct272017

ACETONE - 1992 - 2001

"Between 1993 and 2001 the trio released two LPs and an EP on Vernon Yard—a Virgin subsidiary—and two LPs on Vapor, the L.A.-based label founded by Neil Young and manager Elliott Roberts. In that span, they were selected to tour with Oasis, Mazzy Star, The Verve, and Spiritualized. Against a rising tide of post-Nirvana grunge and slipshod indie rock, Acetone tapped into a timeless Southern California groove by fusing elements of psychedelia, surf, and country.

They rehearsed endlessly in an empty bedroom in northeast Los Angeles, recording hours of music onto cassettes that were subsequently stuffed into shoeboxes and left in a shed behind the drummer’s house. Those tapes are being released for the first time in this anthology, which also includes highlights from Acetone’s official releases. “I think our music is all about moods and feeling but hopefully it will get as weird as it possibly can,” said Richie Lee in 1997. “We want things to get weird in the way that you could hear an Acetone song and know that no one else in the world could make that kind of music but us.”" - Light In The Attic

Saturday
Sep302017

CASTLEBEAT - Castlebeat

"While all the jangle-pop-shoegaze emerging from the West Coast States is no facsimile, it does hold up a rather humbling mirror to the slew of comeback bands from eighties/nineties Britain. This next generation from over the water actually sound bigger, are politically bolder and more beautiful than ever before. And they are DIY. Castlebeat’s self-titled debut is no exception and it gives us some of the catchiest sad pop you’ll hear this summer.

If you’re a regular Bandcamp surfer, you’ll already know how prolific Josh Hwang is, with several scrapbook albums of insanely good tunes under his own name. ‘Castlebeat’ sees a concerted effort to pile all that greatness into one release. Everything you hear was recorded in the twenty-two-year-old Californian’s garage. It’s hard to believe, when you’re soaking up the hazy vibrations of ‘Falling Forward’ or ‘Poolside’, or riding the clattering 170 beats per minute of ‘Downstairs’, that he spent $0 on studio time, producers and audio engineers. Cramming atmosphere and a sense of place into a four minute track is not easy, but somehow he does it with simplicity. For example, ‘Change Your Mind’conjures up a night time driveway somewhere in 80s suburban America, porch light casting onto the silhouette of a young couple trying to resolve their differences. Hushed voices and stolen kisses, as a light in an upstairs bedroom flicks on…" -Goldflakepaint

Saturday
Sep302017

VARIOUS - EXPO 1

"Deutsche Grammophon kick off a new, neo classical compilation series with this 14 track selection featuring work by Jonny Greenwood, Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Chilly Gonzales, Ólafur Arnalds, Philip Glass and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, among others. If you follow the world of modern or neo classical composition, then we’d wager you already know most of the artists and much of the material on offer. But for everyone else it’s a fine entry point or primer, opening with Max Richter’s 21st century standard, Vladimir’s Blues, and cycling thru the spectrum of classical connotations and flirtations with ambient, jazz, anything else it fancies really." -Boomkat

Tuesday
Sep262017

VARIOUS - Jesus Rocked The Jukebox

"A fantastic collection of postwar gospel – one that really keeps the spirit of the "jukebox" in the title! The tunes here are all upbeat, and often share a lot with R&B material of the 50s – especially the vocal group numbers, which often echo more secular modes of early doo wop, but rise the lyrics towards more heavenly aims – while often imbuing the tunes with lots of earthy energy! All the tracks here are from the Vee Jay and Specialty Records labels – and in the case of Vee Jay especially, the well-chosen selection of tracks provides a long-overdue focus to tunes that have mostly been reissued for the spiritual market, and haven't gotten the kind of exposure in the soul scene that they've needed over the years! This collection really corrects that – handled by the excellent Craft division of Concord who've been giving us some great Stax reissues – and the package is overflowing with rare singles, a total of 40 tracks in all – accompanied by great notes in a really well-done package." - Dusty Groove

Tuesday
Sep262017

DREAM SYNDICATE - How Did I Find Myself Here?

"...The new Dream Syndicate record, How Did I Find Myself Here?, doesn’t sound like any of the old Dream Syndicate records, which is something that can be said, actually, of each of the previous Dream Syndicate records. Does 1988’s Ghost Stories really sound like the same band (or half that original band) that had made Days of Wine & Roses in 1982? Nope. Should both be called “Dream Syndicate records”? Absolutely. The current Dream Syndicate lineup features three of the four members who recorded that last studio album: Wynn, drummer Dennis Duck, and bassist Mark Walton. As he has since the Dream Syndicate’s 2012 reformation as a touring unit, Jason Victor (Wynn’s longtime partner in Miracle 3) has replaced Paul Cutler on guitar. With three years of touring under their belts, including two 2014 Atlanta performances featuring both Days of Wine & Roses and The Medicine Show played in sequence, this group was tight and possibly more cohesive when entering the studio than any unit previously recording under the name. 

How Did I Find Myself Here? sure sounds like it: confident and playful, amped up and in sync. Each of the album’s eight songs is unique unto itself, yet all flow together into a cohesive set. The album sounds a bit like the ‘90s bands that Dream Syndicate influenced, a joyful immersion into collective melodic noise. Few units can soar, grind, and spasm in the ways Dream Syndicate has always been able to conjure at will. “Filter Me Through You” opens the album with an explosion of full-on aggression, all players on hand in a classic song of heartbreak and perseverance. Wynn has always been a great pop songwriter, and this is one of his strongest. So, too, is “Glide”, with its soaring chorus of “I just glide / I may never get higher / I don’t have to come down.” The song, possibly a comment on expectations, both those he set for himself and those imposed by others, is as uplifting as the washes of Wynn and Victor’s paired guitar drones..." - Pop Matters

Tuesday
Aug292017

VARIOUS - Complete Loma Singles: Volume 1 (2CD)

"The first volume of The Complete Loma Singles fully delivers on everything a soul aficionado would desire. In fact, it’s the most perfect blend of Motown, Stax and Phil Spector you’re likely to hear in one place. Classic r&b merges with girl group sounds while doo-wop stylings battle brazen blues for the rank of most brokenhearted. There’s even a handful of Booker T-inspired instrumentals to keep the party going. Powerful early singles by Ike & Tina Turner, Swamp Dogg (under the moniker Little Jerry Williams), as well as the entire recorded output of The Olympics (of “Good Lovin’” fame), appear here, alongside Bob & Earl’s Sam & Dave/Otis Reddingworship, Lucky Carmichael’s BB King stomp and Brenda Hall’s girl group straddle of Spector and Shangri-Las producer Shadow Morton. Billy Storm lives up to his name by alternating between a refined Sonics attack and a cover of Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger, and The Apollas give The Supremes a run for their money with their four sides. Both sides of Sugar ‘N’ Spice’s classic “Come Go With Me” round out the collection, along with numerous lesser-known artists whose voices are probably heard for the first time in fifty years." - The Big Takeover

Tuesday
Aug292017

CHRIS BELL - Looking Forward: The Roots Of Big Star

"The influence of the British mod and psychedelic music flows through these cuts in a way that distinguishes them from the sounds that Bell would develop with Chilton in Big Star, but the twisted pop sheen is already forming. Palmore’s “Feeling High” shows a clear Beatles influence, while Bell’s own “Psychedelic Stuff” evokes the Pretty Things, and “A Chance to Live” could be a lost track by the Move. Bell’s singing on the version of “My Life Is Right” first recorded with Rock City sounds more confident here, even, than on the version he recorded with Big Star. And the guitar tone on the collection’s opener “Think It’s Time to Say Goodbye” evokes “In the Street” from #1 Record...

...Listening to Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star it becomes apparent that, without Chris Bell, there would have been no Big Star. The anthology makes it plain that Bell was one of the great collaborators in rock and roll history and adds further emphasis to just how cruelly the fates have treated him. Compiler Alec Palao makes all the right decisions in his selection and sequencing of these songs, presenting as complete a portrait of an artist still in formation as is possible, offering all sides of Bell: singer, songwriter, lead guitarist, accompanist, and, ultimately, catalyst." - Pop Matters

Tuesday
Aug292017

VARIOUS - Milk Of The Tree: An Anthology Of Female Vocal Folk & Singer-Songwriters 1966-73 (3CD)

"Over the course of four hours and sixty tracks, Milk Of The Tree focuses on the music made in the late Sixties and early Seventies in both Britain and North America by either female solo artists or acts with featured female vocalists. Along the way, we encounter San Franciscan psychedelia, LA folk rock, Swinging London pop-folk, electric folk, progressive folk and even folk club folk as well as (of course) a plethora of singer- songwriters (including various ladies of the Canyon) from the movement’s golden age.

As well as featuring most of the leading figures from both sides of the Atlantic, Milk Of The Tree includes many performers who received little attention at the time but who now have a cult reputation amongst collectors. A significant number of tracks were unreleased at the time, while the set also includes the first-ever appearance by pioneering female rock duo Emily Muff, two American girls who were based in England during the period in question but failed to land a recording contract.

With a 44-page booklet crammed with rare photos and details of the various acts featured, the clambox-housed Milk Of The Tree is not only a fascinating social document but, we hope, a hugely entertaining snapshot of a particular time, place and frame of mind that produced some enduring, spellbinding music." - Cherry Red

Tuesday
Aug292017

VARIOUS - Sing It High, Sing It Low: Tumbleweed Records 1971-73

"In February of 1971, Larry Ray and Bill Szymczyk fled an earthquake and a debauched L.A. music scene to claim their own slice of utopia in Denver, Colorado. After meeting and bonding at ABC-Dunhill, where Ray landed as general manager, and where Szymczyk had breezed in from New York — fresh off his first real hit as a burgeoning engineer/producer with BB King’s “The Thrill is Gone” — they’d often daydreamed about starting their own label.

In Denver, Ray and Szymczyk settled on the name Tumbleweed Records, and through industry connections they secured multi-million-dollar financing from Gulf + Western, whose head honchos believed they were bankrolling the hippie movement’s next big thing.

But instead of producing the next Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix, Ray and Szymczyk turned their sights on idiosyncratic wunderkinds like Pete McCabe, moody songwriters Robb Kunkel and Danny Holien, psych-folk rocker Arthur Gee, all the while providing a platform for more established musicians like Albert Collins and Dewey Terry (of Don & Dewey fame), while launching the career of Michael Stanley.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and, per Szymczyk, it was a “bitchin’ disco time.” Drugs, parties, poetry, celebrities, money—Tumbleweed had it all, except airplay and distribution. Two years after its storied start, the label was finished." - Light In The Attic

Saturday
Aug052017

ARTHUR ALEXANDER - Arthur Alexander

"Arthur Alexander is not nearly as well known as his influence suggests he should be. His songs have been covered by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley. He also helped found FAME studios, the Muscle Shoals, Alabama-based studio in which Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Etta James and many more recorded. Alexander's 1972 self-titled album has now been reissued by Omnivore recordings, including six bonus tracks.
 
This was a 'comeback album' after a bit of a career slump in the late '60s, and his sound was appropriately updated from the early '60s pop/R&B of his first album, 1962's You Better Move On, to the country-tinged Southern soul displayed here. Alexander's slight drawl on the word "home" from "I'm Coming Home" enhances the comfy feeling in this music, as does the acoustic plucking on "It Hurts to Want it so Bad" and "Down the Back Roads." The energetic horn arrangements on most of these songs evince a lively soul influence, and the tropical rhythms of "Call Me in Tahiti" and the gospel of "Thank God He Came" make for a rich musical gumbo..." - Exclaim

Saturday
Aug052017

B BOYS - Dada

"“Every day is a struggle to hold on to a sense of myself,” Britton Walker shouts on “Another Thing,” from his band B Boys’ full-length debut Dada. It’s hard to take him all that seriously. From their album art to their song titles (cue up “B Boys Anthem” to get things started) B Boys present a unified front of “selfness.” The Brooklyn trio—Walker, Brendon Avalos, and Andrew Kerr—embody the idea of a band as self-contained unit, a singular force against an indifferent world, a unified wall of inside jokes, jittery noise, and propulsive post-punk.  

On Dada, the band’s coherence is illustrated by compact songs, equal parts WipersSST hardcore, and brainy Devo-esque abstraction. Like their one-time tour mates Parquet Courts, B Boys are as witty as they are snotty, couching their poetic tendencies in a knotty squall. The songs are hooky, taut, and driving. Occasionally, like on the synth-led, Tubeway Army–recalling “Fade,” the crew land in more tempered territory, but mostly, they keep things speedy." - Flood Magazine

Saturday
Aug052017

WILSON PICKETT - Sings Bobby Womack

"Between 1966 and 1968 soul great Wilson Pickett recorded no less than 17 songs written by an up-and-coming singer/songwriter with whom he had much in common stylistically. Bobby Womack’s own time as a regular hit-maker was still a few years off; it was largely the popularity of Pickett’s versions of his songs which set him on his way to soul superstardom.

For years fans of Pickett and Womack have been hoping for a collection which brings together all of their collaborations – not least Cliff White, who conceived this project way back in 1984. At long last, here it is. (The reason for the lengthy gestation period is explained in the booklet.) As well as those Womack compositions, by way of a bonus the CD includes Pickett’s very apt version of Womack mentor Sam Cooke’s classic ‘Bring It On Home To Me’ and both sides of Womack’s own lone Atlantic single.

Recorded in Memphis and Muscle Shoals with the leading studio musicians of the day – including Womack on guitar and backing vocals on many of the tracks – “Wilson Pickett Sings Bobby Womack” is in many ways the great lost Pickett album, and one which compares very favourably with any of his official Atlantic releases of the period. Extensively annotated, handsomely illustrated and with a cover design that pays homage to those late 60s Atlantic albums, this is a compilation no Pickett fan can afford to be without." - Ace Records

Tuesday
Aug012017

VA - BADBADNOTGOOD Late Night Tales

"BADBADNOTGOOD have long been known for their innovative approach to jazz, hip-hop and electronic music, so it comes as little to no surprise that their handpicked Late Night Tales compilation reflects those sensibilities. The 22-track comp gives listeners a rare insight into the band's personal go-tos and twilight staples; even the press release alludes to this new level of intimacy, commenting that BADBADNOTGOOD are "transmitting parts of themselves through the music they select."
 
Unsurprisingly, the music they select is beautiful and carefully crafted. The album features such acts as Boards of Canada, Stereolab, River Tiber, Thundercat, Delegation, Charlotte Day Wilson and the Beach Boys, to name a few. Of course, any Late Night Tales compilation would be incomplete without its famous cover track. For BADBADNOTGOOD, that comes in the form of the band's melancholic take on Andy Shauf's "To You."..." - Exclaim

Monday
Jul242017

VARIOUS - Bob Holmes' Nashville Soul

"In the 60s and 70s, Nashville was a hothouse of R&B, soul and jazz. Bob Holmes was a central character.

With the publication of E Mark Windle’s book House Of Broken Hearts, the city of Nashville’s black music scene is being studied in detail for the first time since Kent issued the CDs “Uptown Down South” and “Music City Soul” in the late 90s. To coordinate with the book we are releasing another compilation of Nashville soul, this time concentrating on the work of multi-talented songwriter, producer and arranger Bob Holmes. Those earlier CDs featured Excello/A-Bet and Poncello/Ref-O-Ree recordings respectively. This new collection also draws from those sources, plus Bob Holmes’ personal tapes and other third-party licenses. The time span is 1965 to 1980.

Sandra King’s ‘Leave It Up To The Boys’ is an expensive record to find and shows how Holmes was stylistically influenced more by New York and Detroit than Memphis. Freddie North’s beautiful big beat ballad ‘Don’t Make Me Look So Bad’ and the Paramount Four’s stunning ‘You Must Leave Her Because You Love Her’ are similarly polished. Holmes worked extensively with R&B producer Ted Jarrett on superb late 60s recordings by great Nashville singers such as Gene Allison, Roscoe Shelton and Peggy Gaines, and even wrote and produced ‘Tip On In’, a hit for blues veteran Slim Harpo." - Ace Records

Monday
Jul242017

WAXAHATCHEE - Out In The Storm

"...An unsentimental candor defines Out In The Storm, which is not so much a breakup album as a scathing post-mortem that leaves neither party unsullied. As Crutchfield put it in an interview, the relationship’s intermingling of the professional and the romantic meant its dissolution “rippled throughout every little corner of my life,” and Out In The Storm is a blistering, unsentimental inventory of all the places that hurt can infect.

But it’s hardly a slog. On the contrary, Crutchfield has channeled her pain into some of her catchiest songs to date. Opener “Never Been Wrong” marries the record’s typically pointed lyrics to a wash of electric guitars that would fit in on a Superchunk album. (That the lyrics also point back at Crutchfield—“I spent all my time learning how to defeat / You at your own game, it’s embarrassing”—is also typical.) The guitar-led “Silver” recalls The Strokes, and “Brass Beam” has the warmth of a bar-rock confessional, as a subtle organ boosts Crutchfield singing, “I just wanna run, yeah, I don’t wanna fight / I just wanna sing my songs / And sleep through the night.”...

This being Waxahatchee, Into The Storm offers plenty of quieter moments as well, particularly in the album’s back third: “A Little More” puts Crutchfield’s lilting voice and acoustic guitar front and center, with little adornment. “Fade,” which closes the album, strips everything down further, some quiet piano the only accompaniment to her voice and guitar. It’s the most direct descendent of American Weekend’s sound and ends the album on a somber note as Crutchfield sings, “I’m fading, fading, fading, fading away.”..." - AV Club

Friday
Jul072017

FAZERDAZE - Morningside

"Amelia Murray is exactly what bedroom pop has been crying out for. Too often, records of this ilk-centered around fleeting shoegaze guitar lines and hushed musings on seclusion-have little to offer beyond invitingly human aesthetics. Seemingly, not hers. On her first full-length record under the Fazerdaze moniker, she crafts some of the most complete and worthwhile dream pop in recent memory. Morningside is near-overflowing with youthful brightness and new ideas; it's totally refreshing.

"You know I'm shit at having friends/I'm sorry I can only do my best" Murray croons before launching into the blistering chorus that punctuates "Friends." Elsewhere, the loud-quiet dynamic is eschewed for Beach House-esque lucidity; closer "Bedroom Talks" smartly stitches summer ambience with impossibly immersive composition. This is a record as capable of sedating as it is of startling. If it wasn't for Murray's knack of effortlessly projecting warmth, listening to Morningside would feel almost invasive-there's a sincere depth to the songwriting throughout.

Much akin to the way that fellow New Zealand native Ruban Nielson (of Unknown Mortal Orchestra) works, you get the sense that every moment of music produced by Murray is the product of intense emotional and technical labor in equal parts. Better than that, the Auckland musician makes the vehement sound effortless. It's hard not to be excited about this project." - Under The Radar

Saturday
Jun172017

MEET ME IN THE BATHROOM

"She set out to write the definitive oral history of a rock scene that produced not just the Strokes and LCD Soundsystem, but also the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, TV on the Radio, Vampire Weekend and the Kings of Leon in addition to lesser-known groups like Jonathan Fire*Eater and the Mooney Suzuki. The result, Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001–2011 – out now – tells the whole story in astonishing detail across 621 pages. "This was an important and poignant period of time in the city," she says. "And I wanted to document it"...

...The timeline of the book coincides with the collapse of the record industry thanks to file-sharing sites like Napster. "A working title of this book was The Last Real Rock Stars," says Goodman. "Interpol is really emblematic of this reality. Their first album came out in the era of rock stardom that's familiar to pop culture. It's what you see in Almost Famous or Behind the Music. By the second record, which leaked, it's like, 'Oh, so we just started this career in this old paradigm and now we're still in this thing, but we don't even know what it is.' These people are all relatively young, but they're also relics of an era that's gone." - Rolling Stone

Saturday
Jun172017

CONGOS - Heart Of The Congos (3CD Reissue)

Rolling Stone #82 in 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time
"With all due respect to the Wailers, this 1977 set by the vocal duo of "Ashanti" Roydel Johnson and Cedric Myton is probably the most psychedelic and spiritually potent roots reggae set ever made, and the greatest achievement of famed Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. Unearthly harmonies bob in a whirlpool of echo and reverb alongside lowing cyber-cattle and other sound effects as the men sing of Jah, Africa, and the Bible, making art that's as much religious ritual – and mind-altering substance – as it is music. Which is exactly the point."

Rolling Stone #33 in 40 Greatest Stoner Albums
"Plenty of classic reggae albums came in instrumental dub versions, remixed for maximum hypnagogic effect. But this Lee Perry-produced classic by vocal duo Cedric Myton and Roydel Johnson is one of the peaks of Jamaican roots music in large part because it came pre-baked. The mesmerizing grooves and transporting tunes of "Fisherman" and "Congoman Chant" are layered with studio muck that grabs and holds whether you're feeling irie or not."